An Introspective Look at the Pedagogical Culture
by Erin Louise Corcoran
A thesis presented to the University of Waterloo in fulﬁllment of the thesis requirement for the degree of Master of Architecture
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2008 © Erin Louise Corcoran, 2008
In North America, to become an architect, students must acquire a wide range of knowledge,create designs in studio, and spend some time working in an architecture ﬁrm. There are various lessons that they need to learn, and techniques that they develop through their education that combine to give them the necessary skills to write their professional exams. However, the education of an architect is not a process that is simple or straightforward, and there are a series of other elementsthat, combined with this basic knowledge, ultimately create contemporary architects. Qualities like individual development, experience, emotional response, personal a itudes, and behaviours are not elements that are going to show up in any architecture school’s brochure, but their eﬀect on the student is just as important as the knowledge that he or she will require to practice. To date,pedagogical inquiry into architecture seems to take two views: either looking at educational techniques and courses; or focusing on the detrimental symptoms of the less-tangible elements mentioned above. This thesis will bridge these two areas by researching the educational process and combining this knowledge with the important but more subjective areas of individual development. Through this study aclearer understanding of the profession will emerge, creating an opportunity for it to improve in the future.
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I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following: Thesis Advisor: Commi ee: Rick Andrighe i Terri Meyer-Boake Lloyd Hunt Jeane e Gascho Katrina Rϋedi Ray Rick Corcoran Guy-Michel Fimmers Aaron Holmes Gloria Baudry, University ofManitoba Susanna Morash-Kent, Dalhousie University Mary Lanni-Campoli, McGill University Stephen Fai, Carleton University Lori McConnell, University of Waterloo Yvonne Hilder, University of Toronto
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As well, this thesis would not have been possible without the input of the many staﬀ, professors, practioners and students who participated in theinterviews. This thesis is dedicated to those who kept me grounded over the last seven years: To my Family for their encouragement and love, to Jessica Becker for the well-needed vacations to Hamilton, to Ola Mazowiec for defying all logic to be my friend, and to Jessica Sheldon for trading neurotic tales with me, all the way from high school to hilltops in Athens. thank you all
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Table of Contents
iii v v vii ix xx 1 2 6 18 29 31 32 34 40 50 56 62 65 66 70 80 86 96 104 112 115 116 118 120 Abstract Acknowledgments Dedication Table of Contents List of Illustrations Introduction Part 1: Professional Foundations 1.1 Deﬁning the Architect 1.2 A History of the Architect 1.3 Professional Mythos and Archetypes Part 1 Summary Part 2: Educational Practices2.1 Choosing Architecture 2.2 Educating Architects 2.3 The Studio 2.4 Crits and Criticism 2.5 Theory vs. Practice Part 2 Summary Part 3: The Less-Tangible Curriculum 3.1 People are Diﬀerent 3.2 Experience 3.3 Emotions 3.4 A itudes 3.5 Dysfunctional Behaviour 3.6 Work and Life Balance Part 3 Summary Summary of Recommendations Proposed Conclusion: On Being Hopeful A erward Bibliography
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List of Illustrations
PG. iii FIG. 0.0.01 DESCRIPTION & SOURCE Collage of interview notes and thesis title Image. Corcoran, Erin. April 2008. Sesame Street Architect and Contractor Illustration. The House that Biﬀ Built. Golden Books, 1979. Scene from the pageant ‘The Skyline of New York’, Beaux-arts Ball Photograph. The Image of the Architect. New Haven: Yale...